Israel’s National Labor Court issued an injunction against striking railway workers union Tuesday, ordering them to return to work by 9 A.M, after trains operations ceased the night before.
The court is slated to hold a discussion on the strike, as well as respond to Israel Railways request to discuss the possibility of contempt of court.
The Israel Railways union announced a strike Monday evening, freezing the country’s national train service only one day after a nationwide general strike came to an end.
The union has been locked in a bitter dispute with the company management over the latter’s intention to privatize certain services in the industry. As part of their struggle, the workers have been refusing to put into service four new engines that were bought from Spain, citing safety concerns.
In addition, the workers are protesting the appointment of a new station chief in the city of Yaveh, south of Tel Aviv, saying he was appointed without the union’s approval.
The strike comes just days after a nationwide general strike of Israel's public sector was called off, following an agreement between the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut labor federation.
The newly reached deal includes raising subcontracted workers minimum monthly wage to NIS 4,500, as well as an improvement in their general working conditions, such as employer participation in workers' savings, holiday gifts, larger employer participation in pensions' savings, and subsidized meals.
In addition, the state pledged to add 120 inspectors meant to enforce the subcontracted workers' rights. In return, the Histadrut pledges to refrain from general strikes for 3 years.
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